DIVINE PERSPECTIVEE
Looking through the Lens of Heaven for all of Life
John 8:12- …”I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.”
Perspective – the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed. A mental view or prospect.
Our perspective colors everything we see life relating to us thus greatly affecting how we relate to all of life. It is the lens we look at affects us and goes on around us. Like a pair of glasses, the perspective we choose to look through will lead us to make choices which will take us to places that are either closer or farther to the kingdom of Heaven.
Knowing how and where to walk is critical for the Believer in Christ so having the right perspective is as essential as the air we breathe.
Each one of us is responsible for the gaining and maintain the correct perspective in which to live our lives through. We are responsible to create a right climate within ourselves in which the perspective of heaven can grow and flourish. Choosing what we place before our eyes, the things that will come into our ears as well as the thoughts that will inhibit our minds and intentions that will reside in our hearts will determine how far into our divine destiny we will walk out and achieve. Our perspective is formed within our hearts and souls but is greatly influenced by outside sources. Since we gain our perspective by what we choose to expose ourselves to. The news media, television programs, movies, magazines and various forms of entertainment dull our spirits and work to form a perspective that leaves the Believer ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of life. Not only do we lose ground in the daily commandment of Jesus to ‘take up your cross daily and come after Me’, but great loss can occur in being in the wrong place at the wrong time due to looking at key invitations through the lens of a wrong perspective.

The challenges of wrong perceptions can be played out in our lives in many ways. The following is one example: You have a place of fear in your life concerning driving on the highway. This leads you to avoid all highways when you are driving. But one day due to road construction or an accident on your usual route you are faced with either getting on the highway or driving over an hour out of the way to find an alternate route. Driving an hour out of the way will cause you to be late for work. Of course, being this late may cause you to lose your job. Obviously it would make sense to take the highway and not be late for this work, but due to your fear of highways you may choose to try the alternate route and hope for the best. This is what can happen many times in our lives: a wrong choice is made due to allowing our fearful hearts to lead us in wrong perception.
Biblical Perspective is choosing to look at life through the lens of Heaven instead of the lens of all that is around us. To choose not to look at life through the lens of circumstances, news media, the opinion of others or even our five senses. It is choosing to look at all of life through the lens provided by the One who is the same today, yesterday and forever. His perspective is always correct. His views are always the most accurate and timely. Each day is a new opportunity to choose how we will see that day as well as give us a starting place as to how to see life going forward.
EACH DAY IS A GIFT MAKE THE MOST OF IT AND CHOOSE WISELY!

Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

CHOOSING TO SEE THROUGH THE LENS OF HEAVEN

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your life we see light.” – Psalms 36:9

Each day brings a new choice. New decisions to make. It doesn’t matter what choices were made yesterday or the day before. Each day brings new choices and new opportunities to walk in the light of Christ. Each day also brings opportunity to walk in the lies of darkness. No one can walk in the light and the darkness at the same time. A choice must be made each day as to who we will serve. Even if there has been wrong choices and wrong perspectives for weeks, months or years of wrong choices there is opportunity to make things right before the Lord, to repent and to live with right perspective each new day. Of course, there may be consequences to deal with due to past wrong choices (and many times there are consequences to face because every choice is taking us somewhere) but the day that there is true repentance from the heart is the day that the ‘ship’ of life can begin to turn from shipwreck to the glorious vessel of the Lord.
In making the daily choice to follow Christ, I open myself to all the benefits of heaven which includes the thoughts of Heaven. The directives of Heaven are now open and clear to me. I have found that when I allow fears and anxieties to direct me I am then “blocked” in my revelations from Jesus. It is during these times that it is the most difficult to discern His voice from other voices. This can be dangerous in the life of the Believer as we are only as good as our ability to hear and follow Jesus. All of us are constantly bombarded with opportunities to walk in worry and anxiety. Whether it be the latest news cast report, daily work stress, the latest family issue brewing at home or more serious circumstances, we all have to choose to walk in the peace and directives of Heaven. There will be times this will involve a fight. (Matt.11:12)
When I choose to walk in peace by putting to death the fears that constantly want to rule me I am then able to hear and see more clearly. I believe this is true to all of us. We all must make a daily choice to walk in the perspective that Jesus died to provide for us. In not making a conscious choice to walk in the perspective of Heaven the choice to walk outside of His peace that passes all understanding is made for us. There is no neutral place in the spirit realm. The cares of this life will make the choice for you if you don’t make quality time with Jesus a priority on a daily basis. He provides directives and guidance for each day through the Holy Spirit. Each day we miss our appointment with Him is a day lived out in wrong perspective and a missed opportunity to walk in His peace. Choosing to live each day looking through the lens of heaven opens up our understanding. We are able to understand things in life that may have been a mystery before thus making us better employees, friends, parents and spouses. (Joshua 24:15)
“May the perspective of Heaven be yours in abundance as Jesus opens your eyes to see all He has for you each day.” Amen.
Venetia Carpenter
Founder, Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

The Following post is a joint effort and another small excerpt from my upcoming book on Divine Relationships. The post includes a major contribution from my close friend and business partner, Thomas Devick. I hope you enjoy our joint effort to give more clarity and definition to the topic of what Jesus had desires for us in Divine Relationships. Pray it is a blessing to you. Enjoy the Journey!

GLORY, HONOR, AND POWER BELONG TO WHOM?

Just wanted to pass on a concept that has been building in my spirit over the last few months.

Revelation 19, Says:

Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!

And Jesus says all things that have been given to him, are ours in His name Hebrews 12:1-3 (we being his brothers and sisters, and an intimate part of His eternal family). Therefore these qualities are a part of our divine spiritual DNA as well.

And much of the sin in our lives (that continually dogs our steps, and tangles up our feet–) resides in our failure to experience this realm. When we fail to pursue this realm whole heartedly, even ferociously, and thus fail to freely abide in this realm which can and should be our dominating force and identity linking us to our heavenly nature and eternal family, we miss out on so much the Father has desired to give us.

The option of not being demonstrably linked to our heavenly and eternal nature, is that we are dominated by our earthly, carnal nature, that has not been redeemed, renewed, transformed, or set free. Our default nature is still living in the place of bondage, captivity, with brokenness of heart (Isaiah 61:1-3), which includes, confusion, depression, ego, pride, anger, bitterness, jealousy, entitlement or worse), and this is our default nature when we walk in the unbelief, and choose to refuse to enter into the full realm of who He really is, and who we really are.

Instead of continually renewing our minds in the realm of Glory, Honor and Power … we often have many replacement ideas, fancies, pursuits, and habits (e.g., movies, videos, novels, TV, hobbies, etc.) that draw us away from His Glory and consume our time and attention away from our divine calling, and that seems to push us out of our eternal inheritance, and position of ruling and reigning with Christ in heavenly places. As a result, we don’t often represent our King and Heavenly Lord as well as He deserves, and don’t communicate His Love, Grace and Mercy, and His Powerful Leadership and Blessings as we have been ordained and commissioned to do. This leaves us empty and devoid of the powerful intimacy He has provided for us.

The awesome and wonderful good news is this is a completely correctable condition. Jesus has provided us full access to His glory, His Honor and His Power! Due to our place in Him we are invited to enjoy glory in our relationship with Him as well as with one another. Truly, we are changed by our communion with Jesus as well as the Divine Connections He places us in.

May the LORD of Glory, Honor, and Power draw us into our full inheritance in Him. Amen!

Love to you in Jesus Christ.

Thomas Devick and Venetia Carpenter
Thomas  & me  2 - July 29'14

                  THE SUPERNATURAL WORKINGS OF DIVINE RELATIONSHIPS
Zech. 4:6; Eccl. 3:11

I was chatting with a new friend recently. Like myself, she is a Believer, social, attractive and successful in her career ventures. Like myself, she is single but no longer a “20 or 30 something”. The conversation soon turned to relationships. As we continued the chat she made mention that she had decided to change her behavior in order to open the door for more men to come into her life. We discussed online dating sites, making herself more attractive, being more outgoing and other reasonable ways in order to draw more men into her social world. None of the things we chatted about were wrong but as we continued our talk something seemed to be missing.
It suddenly occurred to me that what was missing from the conversation. There was no mention of how Jesus played into her single life as a woman who is looking for male friendship and ultimately, her life mate. The fact that Jesus can and often does, work in the lives of those who love Him to bring good people into our lives was missing from her story.
Online social networks, church single groups, various support groups and making yourself more approachable are all great resources but outside of the Lord’s leading and guidance they will only lead to disappointment, wrong relationships and more loneliness. The harsh truth is that so many people, both in and outside, the church lead very lonely lives. This can be especially painful in the area of man/women relationships.
Sometimes it seems we forget that Jesus can and many times does work in our lives to bring just the right people into our lives at just the right time…if we will trust Him to do so. (Isa.30:18… “For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.”)
Divine Relationships are like choosing the right foods for our bodies. If we eat the right foods we edify our bodies toward health and vibrancy. Relationships that Jesus puts us into are “good food” for our soul and spirit.

I am not saying that we should not do our part to make connections happen in our daily lives but just keep in mind that He is the author of all that is good in our lives, including connections, and really desires to bring about abundant blessings and opportunities in each life that loves Him IF we will partner with Him, not lean on our own understanding of how to get people into our lives and then be willing to wait on His timing. I have seen this happen in my life numerous times. (Prov. 3:5-7)
Over the years Jesus has brought many people into my life. Besides my family members, He has brought: Spiritual sons and daughters, key business connections, wonderful ministry connections and wonderful friendships. One dear friend, Thomas Devick, comes to mind when I think of divine connections and supernatural ways Jesus both puts us and keeps us in relationships by His design.

Putting those that love Him in places that are a blessing and that give Him glory is our Lord’s specialty! Relationships are places. He is just waiting for us to acknowledge Him, partner with Him in prayer, and watch Him open up places for us that we could never have worked out, including and especially in the area of our relationships with others. (John 14:1-3)
Good things really do come to those who will wait, trust, pray and believe on the One who always brings more than we can imagine or think. Including Relationships.

“You are not responsible for figuring out how to pull off God’s vision for your life. You are responsible to do what you know to do, what you can do. And then you must wait.” From the book, ‘Visioneering’ by Andy Stanley.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

DIVINE RELATIONSHIPS
A Work in Progress Ordained By God
I JOHN 1:3
The following is a exert from Venetia’s latest book on ‘Divine Relationships’ that she is currently working on. As we watch relationships be challenged and devalued all around us, this latest work will present revelation from God on man/women relationships, families and other divine connections.

If you are like most people you think of relationships that God brings about as being…well..Divine. You know, heavenly I nature and problem free and heavenly as they are walked out day to day. This may never be spoken or articulated but still may reside within our hearts and minds as a unspoken expectation. I was one of those that thought this but have since realized that while this may be what we think or desire the truth is all relationships are truly a work in progress. That goes for those the God has put together as well as those He did not initiate.

While it is true that all relationships have to be worked out it is equally true that the only ones that come equipped with tools to make it a divine and heavenly experience on earth are the ones that God puts together. True, ungodly relationships can come forth and be walked out but these connections will never be able to experience the full measure of what it means to walk in the peace, harmony, true love, fellowship and support that Jesus provides for those that live in faith and obedience to Him. This is due to the fact that it is God who initiated relationships from the beginning so, of course, He knows best how they should work. (Gen.2:18; Gen. 7:1;Psalms 68:6)
I have noticed that as two people or a group of people attempt to walk out the stages of their relationship together that the unavoidable challenges can be used to sharpen, solidify and strengthen the relationship as long as those involved make the decisions to continue going forth together in spite of the challenges. Whether is be in a family where the parent(s) are confronted with their own opinions,needs and desires as well as those of the children, a growing church where the pastor and leaders are constantly challenged to met the needs of those in their congregations or in a close friendship or courtship relationship that carries its own set of challenges that put a strain on emotions in ways that other connections do not. Each one of these will require courage, being willing to persevere and,may times, a willingness to fight the forces of strife, contention and other spirits that would divide them in order to keep the divine connection intact, healthy and in a place that Jesus can continue to use it.
The truth is that all true Divine Relationships may encounter challenges, trials and struggles, however, if Jesus has truly put the relationship together He will also provide the grace and perseverance required to keep the connection intact if we will use the keys He has provided

The keys are: being willing to die to ourselves, walk in forgiveness and love as a lifestyle while following the Holy Spirit’s leading in all you do.

My prayer is that this little article will begin to challenge every reader to pursue those true God initiated connections that He provides for each one of those who love Him. They probably won’t come as “easy” connections but hold may blessings if those involved will continue to persevere with Jesus as well as with each other.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

Venetia Carpenter
Founder, Ecclesia Int’l Ministries
http://www.ecclesiainternationalministries.org.

 

WHEN READING THE BIBLE BECOMES A BAD THING

I Cor. 4:4-5 – “ For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; But He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts….

Each year I choose a book to use as a daily devotional. With the help of a dear friend, Thomas, who was reading the book himself and encouraged me to pick it up, I have chosen a book Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding CA, authored. The name of the book is “When Heaven invades Earth”. I have read this book before several years ago but there is now an expanded edition which even includes a daily devotional. Perfect!

I am not sure what it is…perhaps because it is a different season in my life or I am just seeing things differently this time around But the book is both challenging me and encouraging me at the same time. I find I am stopping to digest key things that are being highlighted to me by Holy Spirit as I read each page.
Something that has recently caused me to take a rather long ‘Wow, that is so true’ moment is a statement in the book pertaining to bible reading in reference to teaching a message without any demonstration of power: “ The Bible is the absolute Word of God. It reveals God; the obvious, the unexplainable, the mysterious, and sometimes offensive. It all reveals the greatness of God. Yet it does not contain Him. God is bigger that His book.” OH MY! Can you feel the shutter in the hearts of some at the verbalizing of those words? He goes on to say, in chapter eight of the book, “ Revelation that doesn’t lead to a God encounter only serves to make me more religious. Unless Scripture leads me to Him, I only become better equipped to debate with those who disagree with my way of thinking.” Wow… powerful stuff! It takes real courage to write those words because they carry real potential to be misunderstood and, for many,to become offended. But they are so true and need to be said!

As I read this I can remember encounters with people over the years. People who knew volumes of the scripture. Many were in ministry. Even more where, and still are, leaders in ministry. I can remember how scripture was used by some of these to not promote the truth of living a life of true faith, which includes regular supernatural God encounters, but to actually discourage anyone from wanting to step into anything that can not be digested by human reason and intellect.

Unfortunately, this continues to happen in many churches to this day. This discounting who Jesus is by denying that He came so that we can all do the very same works He did when He was on earth and even greater works, thus disqualifying the very purpose He died for! ( I Cor. 2:1-5)

Actually taking His book to basically call Him a liar! I am sure each ready of this blog either has heard or been part of a church service where the scriptures were used to try and disprove the purpose of each believer. (John 14:12-14 ) We must honestly ask ourselves…’Is my bible reading being done so that I can draw closer to and understand this awesome Lord that I love OR I am I only wanting to increase my knowledge of Him? It would be best for each reader of this blog to ask themselves that question with the same seriousness we would ask ourselves,’Do I want to live in heaven or Hell for eternity?’ Because the answer you come up with may very well determine where you are headed!

In short, if any bible reading or a sermon is not promoting the truth of Heb. 13:8( Jesus Christ, the same today, yesterday and forever) then there is a serious problem! All further bible reading should stop until a true relationship with Jesus has been established and confirmed through the Holy Spirit leading and guiding your life in everyday life.

Dear Reader, I am not trying to shake you up ‘just for fun’ BUT if the words I have written have caused some alarm in your life I would strongly encourage to follow the advise and counsel of Mike Bickle, Leader and Founder of International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO, Pray: “ Lord, shock me now.” ( so I have time to repent) “So I am not shocked later when I stand before you!”

My prayer for each reader of this article is that an examination of our hearts is made in order to make adjustments in our motives toward Jesus and His word.

Let each of us allow Holy Spirit to shock us now of any any hidden motives and places of unbelief that may reside in our hearts in order to be able to stand before Jesus and hear these wonderful works, “Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant.”

Venetia Carpenter
Founder, Ecclesia International Ministries
http://www.ecclesiainternationalministies.org.

JESUS IS NOT A BUSINESS!

January 31, 2014

JESUS IS NOT A BUSINESS
BUT We Do Need To Be About His Business

Matthew7:21-23; I John 3:8;Luke 2:49;John 4:34

It is very possible and acceptable to be a part of a business setting where you can promote, be a part of, recruit others to join and perform daily tasks of the business each day but never have a active relationship with the owner of the company or the business. This happens all the time in our world and is not just acceptable but somewhat expected. I have worked for many companies over the years.

Depending on the size and structure of the company I have had varying degrees of relationship with either the owners of the business or those who where responsibly to make sure the day to day tasks were performed. I could had easily worked at these companies and performed all the tasks asked of me outside these relationships as the position I worked in was not based on my getting to know either the owner nor those that may have been set in charge. It was somewhat of an added plus to be in relationship with the owners/managers but definitely not required.

This is life in the corporate marketplace world but should NEVER be the nature of our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. This relationship we have with Christ is based on heart to heart fellowship. Truly, everything and anything of worth that we will accomplish as one of His is based solely on how close we are to Him. Our relationship with our Bridegroom should be much more than a lists of tasks that we perform each day. Unfortunately, if we are not careful to continually cultivate our relationship with Him each day than all the good things that should be drawing us closer to Him such as reading our bible, serving others, going to church, memorizing portion of scripture, fasting, etc. can become just that…good things that are meaningless and serve no purpose for eternity because they are not being cultivated, nor done, out of active relationship with Him.

Those very things that should be drawing us closer to Jesus could, in fact, be leading us to a “form of godliness” while actually denying the power of Jesus which,again, can only be found in active , close relationship with Him.

I find I am wanting/desiring to see more and more manifestations of the power of Christ in my own life and in the various ministry settings that I am involved in or that I visit. Honestly, none of us should be satisfied until we are moving in the same level of signs & wonders that the early church did. Actually we really should be moving in greater works than they saw and did because Jesus said we should!
( John 14:12)

We were brought into the kingdom of God in order to both promote the kingdom of God and destroy the works of the enemy. This is not to be done in the same way we would conduct ourselves in a marketplace business (ie.. never getting to know the heart of the One who is brought us in, commissioned us and set us in place to accomplish powerful deeds until He returns) But instead is to be done by taking our rightful place of authority from the only One who has ALL AUTHORITY and has given that authority to us to accomplish great and mighty things in His name. (Luke 10:19-20)

It is the Father in Heavens business that we should be about bringing His kingdom of Heaven into every place and situation that He places us in because that is exactly what Jesus was about when He walked the earth. ( John 5:19)
The same power that resided in Jesus now resides in all those that have said “Yes” to His complete leadership in their lives, have put completely trust in Him and will live according to His plans and purposes. This is not to be done some of the time, not once a week at a church or prayer group, not when it is convenient and everyone is in agreement with you but ALL THE TIME.

This is the life of faith. This is the life of ‘stepping out and stepping in’ as He directs and guides. This is where true relationship takes place. This is where deep intimacy that leads to constant communion and conversation is established. This is our true place of power! Of seeing the “greater works than these” take place!

May we all find ourselves wanting to know Jesus more, hearing from Him plainly and following Him with abandonment.

My prayer that each one reading this will both long for and find his or her true place of wisdom, authority and divine power that Jesus has prepared and made ready for each one of us!

Venetia Carpenter
Founder, Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE!
Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Life can be a journey with Jesus. The choice is ours. It all depends on our perspective and how we choose to react to lives challenges. It is very helpful to remember that this life is a transition place. It will not last forever and is definitely not all there is to existence. (Ps. 39:11, ICor.15:51-52)
We are able to gain hope and insight as we remember that through every season, every challenge and every event He is taking us someplace! Someplace good! Our lives are not a random chain of events. Even those things that seem negative, hard and bring pain can and are used in order for Jesus to take us to a His desired end for us. (Jer. 29:11) Jesus wastes nothing. Everything is used, everything that hits our lives has value and every season is actually taking us to another place. Another place in Him.
This includes people He chooses to place in our lives. I have found that as I follow Jesus He is very specific about the people He allows in my life. His heart is to place people in my life who will draw me closer to Him. This is both challenging and exciting for any relationship brings both. Along these lines, I have seen people choose to walk in cooperation with Jesus in the area of relationships and see the great fruit that comes from that..To both parties. I have also seen those that have chosen to keep Jesus out of the area of who they choose as friends or life mates and seen the pain, confusion, and destruction that comes from that choice as well. Both choices are an adventure but obviously the option with Jesus is a much wiser and better option. More on this subject of relationship on another post.
Bottom Line: The key to where we will end up is determined by the position our hearts take as well as how willing we are to walk in obedience in the truth of Christ.
Life will create the adventures, Jesus will take us through the adventures as a journey but we determine the outcome by our attitudes, choices and obedience.
Adventure – an exciting or very unusual experience. Participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure. A bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
I’ve come to see that each challenge in life is just Divine appointments in disguise. They can be used to experience a different level of victory, another opportunity to add new spiritual tools to our tool belt and to experience a different place of victory with Jesus leading the way. The choice is ours!

LIVING THE SUPERNATURAL LIFE IN FAITH
The Position of Greatness
Matt. 18:3-4
Do you ever wonder why Jesus compares being like a child to being great in His kingdom? On the surface it would be easy to say it is due to the vulnerability and openness of children. Children are very trusting by nature. This is true but I feel it is far deeper than that. One thing that has been brought to my attention lately is the spirit of adventure that is in the nature of a child. Children love to find out new things! They love to explore and make things happen. Doing the ‘same ole, same ole’ is not in the nature of a child. When you watch children you see them touching everything thing, running to check out things and wanting to know how things work. They have endless questions as they are always interested to learn and find out what the limits are. I see that in the life in my grandson, Jonathan. He is such a fun little guy! All of 3 years old he is truly an inspiration! I get energized by being with him. Everything is new! Each day is a new adventure waiting to happen!
That is exactly how we, as Believers, have to be in order to be great in the kingdom of Heaven. We have to be just as vulnerable, unafraid and hungry to know the things Heaven as a child in order to ever attain to what Jesus provided for us. He came, lived and died in order that we may be able to live a life of supernatural faith. To do the works that He did while living here plus more. (John 14:11-14) I also see that just like a child we are to be completely and totally dependent on Jesus for protection, comfort and provision. Just like a child we are to have complete trust in all the Jesus takes us through, provides for us and the timing of everything we need. We must daily challenge our tendency to lean on what we think we know about our lives, needs and life in order to be qualified to walk out the life of faith He has for each one of us.
The Supernatural lifestyle of faith is not tangible in the natural realm of living. You won’t see it the “greater works shall he do” acts take place while living life in the day to day sameness of the natural/material world. To see and do the supernatural acts that have been promised to us changes will need to take place in your life.
There must be dissatisfaction with this life in the natural realm. There must be a desire for more! In short, a hunger for more than natural senses can satisfy. Only then are you ready to move into the lifestyle of faith offered through the supernatural realm. The limitless, vast world where anything and everything is possible is available today for any who will accept its reality and pursue it with energy and faith of a child.
I encourage all who read this article to begin to take those steps today. Jesus desires to take us all into deeper places in Him. His kingdom will not be found in the natural realm but in the supernatural realms that only He can take us into. He is ever watchful for those who will choose to take the first step leading to greatness. He wants to unfold so much to those who will choose to see and respond.
Make the decision to walk out the greatness that is your birthright as a Believer in Christ. Glorious encounters await you!
ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia International Ministries

LOVING MY HEART TO LIFE
JOHN 10:10
I am realizing more and more that my heart needs to be fully loved in order to be able to fully love. I am seeing this in many areas of my own life and some in the life of others. In order to me to be able to give love I need to have a heart that can contain real love. I need a heart to sustain loving and being loved, which means I have to release any and all false ideas about what love is.
This is true for any relationship whether it is in a natural family, friendships, courtships or marriage. We can only love in direct context to the health of our own hearts. A wounded, bitter, disappointed or otherwise broken heart will be very limited as to its capacity to both receive and give back love. Each one of us has seen the results of the damage an “unloved” heart can cause. It is all around us in varied and multiple forms: child abuse, broken marriages, violence against women, random shootings in schools and other public places are just a few examples of the fruit that comes from an unloved heart. With these facts in mind it is small wonder that Jesus puts so much emphasis on the importance of love. (John 15:12 & 17; James 2:8) Also small wonder why the enemy attempts to devalue it through inappropriate relationships between men and women, same sex marriages and other forms of lust. (1Tim.4:1; Jude 18)
As a believer of many years I felt my heart was both capable to give and receive love from Jesus as well as from others. Several months ago Jesus took me through a time of what I call “major heart surgery”. For me this meant having the Lord peel off the outer layer of my heart in order to let the pink new tissue of my heart come forth. It was not a fun thing but so very necessary. While I lay on the floor weeping I saw the picture of what was taking place in the spirit realm. I saw the hands of the Lord very gently peeling back a layer of my heart. This layer had become brown and leather-like. It had lost its flexibility to move and change easily so had to be removed in order to allow the new pink tissue of my heart to be exposed. When the process was over, I then saw Jesus pouring oil over my new flexible, pink heart that was beating and pulsating with new vigor. (Ezek.36:26-27; Ps. 51:10)
I immediately noticed a difference. My heart was much more tender toward issues of life that had brought little to no response in me before. I was much more sensitive to the heart cries in others and could actually feel some of the pain of others when I was in their presence. This brought me to a place of prayer for them out of a heart of true concern and love whereas before I would not have had the ability to feel or intercede on that level. Other changes came forth also, clearer vision in the spirit, different perceptions when confronted with life’s issues and challenges, more clarity in the prophetic, were some of the things I noticed while learning to live with this ‘new heart’. I now realize that without this process taking place my heart would not be in position to remain “at rest” in this new season Jesus has me in. My life has drastically changed in these past 3-4 months. I went from being called to extended hours of prayer with little else to do with my days to being put back into the marketplace in a the form of a full time job, I have new relationships with precious people the Jesus has put into my life, as well as new daily ministry opportunities. The heart surgery I had endured was needful in order to prepare me to the season I am in now. Truly the Lord is faithful!
I see now that Jesus, in His great love for me, wanted me to fully engage with him on a new level so He had to give me a new heart in order to do so. I was not going to be able to traverse the new journeys of partnership with Him with the heart I had so he gave me a new one. He wanted me to truly love, to really know what love was from His perspective so in order to do that I had to have a new heart. The old heart had become inflexible and to dependent on things that were no longer necessary as Jesus was calling me closer to Him so had to be replaced with one that had the strength and flexibility to both love Jesus deeper thus allowing me to love others fully as well.
I believe this was necessary for this new season Jesus has drawn me into. I have to be open to fully love in the relationships I currently have with family and friends as well as the new relationships He has prepared and made ready for me to walk into. I have come to realize that every process the Lord takes us through, every experience is useful for our good if we will allow the Lord to use it. Truly, what the enemy means for our destruction the Lord can and does use for our great good if we will keep our hearts pointed to Him.
I encourage you to allow the Lord to minister to your heart in this way. Honestly, the process is intense but the results are so worth it! Think ‘no pain, no gain’.
Anything and everything Jesus takes us through or allows us to go through will reap a reward for us if we will walk out what He has for us fully trusting Him to work it for our good.
May you experience new places of Jesus in your journey with Him!

Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries